Neville Gabie has been appointed as the ODA’s artist in residence with Sam Wilkinson (InSite Arts) as curator. Neville Gabie’s work focuses on understanding the changing nature of locations and the diverse communities who live and work in them. His previous projects and residencies include spending four months in Antarctica with the British Antarctic survey and three years on the Cabot Circus Development building site in Bristol as well as carrying out international residencies in China, Western Australia and working with an NGO in Pakistan.
Sarah Weir, Head of Arts and Cultural Strategy at the Olympic Delivery Authority said: 'With the Olympic Park undergoing the "big build" phase, this is a special time for an artist to be on site and get under the skin of this unique regeneration project.
'We were looking for an artist who would be able to respond to the physical transformation of this part of London, honouring the history of the past while also capturing the changing nature of the present and the aspirations for the future. We hope that Neville’s work with the workforce and the communities around the Park will help continue to foster a sense of ownership and local involvement.'
Moira Sinclair, London Executive Director of Arts Council England, said: 'Artists have a unique viewpoint on the world; they help us question and understand what’s going on around us, as well as reach out to people and stimulate new thinking. I can’t think of a more inspiring and fast-changing environment right now than the Olympic Park, and look forward to seeing how Neville and Sam respond to this extraordinary opportunity in the coming months.'
Neville Gabie, artist in residence, said: 'This project brings together things that I have long been passionate about – the diversity of community, engagement with people and place, and a shared experience of sport and play. This project represents a wonderful opportunity to develop my own creative practice and share that experience with wider audiences.'
Sam Wilkinson, curator, said: 'Within a few days of starting our research, we were overwhelmed by the passion of the people building the Park, the opportunities for jobs, skills development and the myriad of roles and activities on site. We are excited that in some small way, Neville can share some of the stories of the site to those living in the immediate area and hopefully further afield.'
Neville will start by spending time researching the site and those working on it, shadowing a variety of jobs from the workforce before developing a series of participatory events for site workers and the local community.
Other artists working with the ODA on current or future projects on the Olympic Park include:
1. The Inside Out Floating Cinema
Hackney-based architects Studio Weave will work with artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie, known collectively as Somewhere, on a commission to create a floating structure which will accommodate film screenings, large outdoor film events and provide a base for the artists to meet with local people. The Inside Out Floating Cinema is a continuation of UP Projects’ Portavilion programme of temporary pavilions for London’s public spaces. It will form part of the Create 2011 summer festival, and the work will be installed before the Games.
2. Light commission for the Handball Plaza
Internationally renowned artist Monica Bonvicini has been appointed by the ODA, supported by Modus Operandi, to develop a landmark light commission in front of the Handball Arena. Details of her proposal will be released in Spring 2011, and the work will be installed before the 2012 Games.
3. The View Tube’s arts and culture programme
The View Tube, a new social enterprise and community venue with panoramic views of the Olympic Park, is developing an Arts Council England funded cultural programme curated by Alice Sharp. The line up will include well known artists Gavin Turk, Faisal Abdu’Allah, Lisa Cheung and Brian Griffiths.
4. Poetry in the Park: Winning Words
The first poem for the Olympic Park has been written by local and renowned poet Lemn Sissay. Inspired by the history of the site, Sissay has written “Spark Catchers”, a poignant poem on the history of the Bryant and May match factory which still exists on the edge of the Park in Bow. “Spark Catchers” will be etched into a wooden structure in the north of the Park which will house one of the main electricity transformers.
5. Utilities buildings
The ODA, supported by the Contemporary Art Society, has appointed renowned British artists Clare Woods and DJ Simpson to create two large-scale works to be integrated into the facades of two utilities buildings in the south of the Park. Both artists have taken the landscape of the Park as the inspiration for their works, and are using materials which resonate with the area’s previous industrial heritage. Both works are due to be installed in the spring of 2011.
6. The Clouds Bridge
Artists and designers Nazareno Crea and Oscar Bauer from the Royal College of Art have incorporated an artwork mural on a new bridge built by the ODA on the outskirts of the Olympic Park. They wanted the designs of abstract yet figurative images of the clouds in the sky to help the bridge become an iconic social point in the everyday life of Stratford.
7. Inter Alia
Turner Prize winning artist Grenville Davey helped the Royal College of Art facilitate workshops with local people to develop ideas for an installation that would be incorporated into the retaining walls of the Central Park bridge in the Olympic Park. The theme of ‘leaving your mark’ was developed by Davey into differently sized ‘finger prints’, marking space and disrupting the surface of the wall. The work will be installed in the spring of 2011.
8. lfo spectrum
The ODA, supported by Modus Operandi, commissioned internationally renowned artist Carsten Nicolai to create an artwork for the fence of an infrastructure building in the Olympic Park. His piece is an alternative representation of the Olympic emblem with the five rings transformed into an image of a low-frequency oscillation sound wave. Using the colour spectrum of a sunset, the artwork was then digitally printed directly onto the fence.
9. One Whirl
Hackney-based artist Martin Richman won the competition to incorporate an art commission into one of the new bridges and underpasses being built on the Olympic Park. Richman's concept, which is inspired by the energy of the Games, will be seen on one of the bridges near the Velodrome and on the walls and ceiling of an underpass that will allow pedestrians to walk under the A12 road.
10. Memory Marathon
Memory Marathon was a large-scale participatory event in which artist Simon Pope walked a specially planned 26-mile route through the five Host Boroughs for London 2012. He was companied by 104 residents who recalled their stand-out memories from Olympic and Paralympic history. An 80-minute film of the day was shown to acclaim earlier this year. In November 2010, Simon is re-visiting the route and some of the walkers, to reflect how the local landscape has continued to change. A special screening of ‘Memory Marathon’, including new footage, is planned for early 2011.
11. Fast, faster, fastest
Jason Bruges Studio’s concepts will be seen on one of the Stadium bridges as well as two underpasses. The bridge piece celebrates the achievements of Olympic and Paralympic champions with an interactive artwork that challenges people to race against the speed of their sporting heroes. The underpasses lighting schemes use complementary lighting artworks to reflect the movement of swimming and rowing.
12. ‘Fantasticology Wildfower Meadows’ and ‘Greenway Markers’
A team of The Klassnik Corporation, Riitta Ikonen and We Made That, a group of young artists and designers, were commissioned to develop a family of landscape works in the Olympic Park and on The Greenway. The “Fantastic-Archaeology” project is a series of planting designs for wild-flower meadows in the south-east corner of the Olympic Stadium island, intended to reflect the previous industrial heritage of the site. The same team have also designed distinctive entrances to The Greenway at Wick Lane and Canning Road that relate to the history and municipal function of The Greenway as an important sewer route.
Notes to editors:
The artist in residency project is supported by the National Lottery, through Arts Council England, and the Olympic Delivery Authority.
Images are available at: http://mm.gettyimages.com/mm/nicePath/locog?nav=pr143539427
A document 'Art in the Park', summarising the ODA’s arts and culture programme, can be viewed or downloaded here: http://www.london2012.com/publications/art-in-the-park.php
Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives. They support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts. Between 2008 and 2011, they will invest £1.3 billion of public money from government and a further £300 million from the National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
Artists’ biographies and more details on previous projects they have worked on are available from the ODA Press Office.
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For further information please contact the Olympic Delivery Authority Press Office on +44 (0)20 3 2012 700.
The construction of the venues and infrastructure of the London 2012 Games is funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency.
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